Persona 4 Golden Catch-All

Spoiler:
Dying is really frustrating.

I've leveled up enough that the upper-level bathhouse monsters no longer kill my guys in one shot (for the most part), but give 'em two or three and I'm probably dead. I do like the feeling of tension. And the difficulty introduces a lot of tough choices into even ordinary fights. Attacks that add Silence or Panic have become staples, because they can prevent an enemy from unleashing a party-killing attack on the next move -- it feels great when you can block something like that. But it feels awful when you miscalculate or take a bad risk or miss, and die.

EDIT: does this comment cross anyone's spoiler threshold? I am only naming a dungeon and describing some very broad tactics, but let me know and I'll tone it down.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Question: I spent time studying with Chie and it gave me the "Your relationship has improved; you will become even closer the next time." In P3P, the next social event would trigger the social link rank up. However, I just met Chie in the evening, and it says that I won't be able to rank up in the evenings. Should I just not spend time with her? It seems like it will be wasted, and I should just wait till the next day.

In that situation I would avoid the evening meet with Chie. I think the evening meetings with characters are to ensure your next regular meeting will end with a rank up. If you were previously told that your next meeting will rank up then doing the evening meeting may be a little redundant.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Other thought at the moment: I hate the style of the boy's uniform. Yuck. The style of your character in P3P was actually pretty cool. It was sort of a sloppy classy. These uniforms are some weird mutant Three Amigos costume. It's not a big deal, but I figured I would mention it to see if anyone agreed.

I actually like the boys uniform, so much so that I am working on a cosplay. My wife said she would cosplay as Yukiko too. Awesome!

Very mild spoilers for the early game:

So, I thought I was doing very well going through the dungeon for the first time. I was on either level 5 or 6, and had been chaining those complete shuffle bonuses for a while. Then I came upon a floating box, and without warning, the game gave me the middle finger and killed my party in one hit. I f*cking hate that nonsense in games. Luckily I can start again from that floor, but they just basically wasted my time. Lovely. So, what's the solution to that mob? The game gave me no indication, and I couldn't get it weak in the time that I had.

EverythingsTentative wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Other thought at the moment: I hate the style of the boy's uniform. Yuck. The style of your character in P3P was actually pretty cool. It was sort of a sloppy classy. These uniforms are some weird mutant Three Amigos costume. It's not a big deal, but I figured I would mention it to see if anyone agreed.

I actually like the boys uniform, so much so that I am working on a cosplay. My wife said she would cosplay as Yukiko too. Awesome!

That's awesome! For whatever reason, it's totally not my thing, however. I do think the girls uniforms look cool. I think the guy's colar looks weird to me. Not sure why.

cyrax wrote:
Very mild spoilers for the early game:

So, I thought I was doing very well going through the dungeon for the first time. I was on either level 5 or 6, and had been chaining those complete shuffle bonuses for a while. Then I came upon a floating box, and without warning, the game gave me the middle finger and killed my party in one hit. I f*cking hate that nonsense in games. Luckily I can start again from that floor, but they just basically wasted my time. Lovely. So, what's the solution to that mob? The game gave me no indication, and I couldn't get it weak in the time that I had.

Slight tactics spoilers:

Spoiler:
That happened to me a couple times! They go into their self destruct mode. It's terrible when there's two of them. I got leveled up enough to where that doesn't happen anymore. I'm not sure what the indication is that they will self destruct or if there even is one. Just get the drop on them, and hit them with zio. Usually, enemies will give you a queue so that you know that you need to set everyone to guard mode. I'm very glad that they let you restart the floor if something like that happens. P3P was far less forgiving.

Slight tactics spoilers:

Spoiler:
That happened to me a couple times! They go into their self destruct mode. It's terrible when there's two of them. I got leveled up enough to where that doesn't happen anymore. I'm not sure what the indication is that they will self destruct or if there even is one. Just get the drop on them, and hit them with zio. Usually, enemies will give you a queue so that you know that you need to set everyone to guard mode. I'm very glad that they let you restart the floor if something like that happens. P3P was far less forgiving.

[/quote]

Spoiler:
Glad its Zio. I had the fire goblin equipped to deal with those joined doll-things. I'll get my main persona out and crush that dick.

This game has single-handedly made the PS Vita I scored during Black Friday weekend sales worthwhile. Gameplay-wise, it is superior in every way to Persona 3 so far (yes, I haven't gotten around to P4 on the PS2 in the past).

Thought on Chie's personality:

Spoiler:
I'm starting to enjoy Chie a bit more where initially I just found her annoying. Maybe I'm just getting used to the voice actor. She also might just be better when there's four people in your gang rather than just two or three.

EverythingsTentative wrote:
ahrezmendi wrote:
I chuckle every time I reach a class question or mid-term in a Persona game, because they actually teach me some things I didn't know before.

EDIT: Jeez, how high does your Courage need to be in this game to do the 3rd conversation options with Chie? I've been eating every rotten thing in the fridge, and I'm still not high enough.

I don't know how high your courage is but if you buy the only book available to purchase at the book store (at this point in the game anyway, can't remember the name) it will raise your courage to reliable.

I read said book, but I still see "You could do that if your Courage were higher" a lot. I was able to:

Spoiler:
Ask Yukiko for her number directly

so obviously it's high enough for some things. I'll admit I have been ignoring my Courage, and there are some conversation options where you can only pick them in NG+, so maybe these are just more examples of that.

cyrax wrote:
Very mild spoilers for the early game:

So, I thought I was doing very well going through the dungeon for the first time. I was on either level 5 or 6, and had been chaining those complete shuffle bonuses for a while. Then I came upon a floating box, and without warning, the game gave me the middle finger and killed my party in one hit. I f*cking hate that nonsense in games.

This has happened to me several times now. I played about 3 hours straight on a flight last night and I probably died around ten times, often losing neat gear and a lot of experience. This would be less disheartening if you didn't get game over as soon as your main character dies and other party members could revive him.

Spoiler:
Also, I've had extended, extended battles with Yokiko's shadow where everything was going splendid when all of a sudden my main character gets one-shotted. Blah.

Still, this is the most addicted I've ever been to a handheld game.

Jon Shafer (former Firaxis lead) wrote a long appreciation of Persona 4 on his blog:

During the past week nearly all of my gaming time has been dedicated to Persona 4. . . .

Well I can tell I am pretty much addicted, I get very little time to play anything at the moment apart from on my commute, yet my P4 saved game shows a 25 hour play time!

This morning on BART I ran into a group of 5 ravens, weak to lightning. I've taken out about a dozen of these groups before, so I figure no problem. Zap 3 of them, then my Zio misses the 4th. That one casts Matarukaja, the 5th raven attacks and crits Yu for 186, then one that was down wakes up, attacks again, and Yu is dead. Game over.

I knew I should have used that Goho-M sooner.

Really digging P4, seriously. I'm not yet through the first month, and after just the first social link event with Marie I find myself exceedingly curious to find out what the story is with her. I dig all the characters I've met so far, and really like how Inaba feels surprisingly organic and intimate as a setting for the game.

The soundtrack is also absolutely fantastic, and I'm impatiently awaiting the next lesson on Personas, Shadows, and Jungian Psychology to unlock.

ahrezmendi wrote:
This morning on BART I ran into a group of 5 ravens, weak to lightning. I've taken out about a dozen of these groups before, so I figure no problem. Zap 3 of them, then my Zio misses the 4th. That one casts Matarukaja, the 5th raven attacks and crits Yu for 186, then one that was down wakes up, attacks again, and Yu is dead. Game over.

I knew I should have used that Goho-M sooner.

Thank god for the level restart feature. That type of thing happens to me every once in awhile too, especially when you get into a rhythm and stop paying too much attention.

Are people using the AI for their teammates? I don't find it all that reliable, so I just directly control everyone. It may be because I'm playing it on hard and it's so easy to quickly get screwed.

Level 20 character plot spoilers:

Spoiler:
I'm at the bathhouse boss now. It's still only the first week where you can enter the bathhouse, so I'm feeling pretty good about my progress. I really want to knock him out so that I can concentrate on social links. I do pretty well taking out the two side guys with fire and ice. Does the center guy actually have a weakness? I'm assuming he doesn't, and I don't want to waste my current battle discovering it if there is one. I don't mind that small spoiler if someone would like to enlighten me. I figure I can power through to get him, but I'm not sure. I started without full SP bars.

Yeah, so I read about the level restart feature, but it's apparently not on for me, 'cause when I die I get a full on game over. How do you turn on level restart?

I use direct commands on everyone, it's non-optional on Very Hard.

ahrezmendi wrote:
Yeah, so I read about the level restart feature, but it's apparently not on for me, 'cause when I die I get a full on game over. How do you turn on level restart?

Holy crap. Maybe that's what happens when you play it on very hard. Sooooo glad that I'm playing it on hard. You could check the settings, but I'll bet it's one way they notch up the difficulty.

ahrezmendi wrote:
Yeah, so I read about the level restart feature, but it's apparently not on for me, 'cause when I die I get a full on game over. How do you turn on level restart?

I use direct commands on everyone, it's non-optional on Very Hard.

Don't play on Masochist mode/Very Hard?

Farscry wrote:
Really digging P4, seriously. I'm not yet through the first month, and after just the first social link event with Marie I find myself exceedingly curious to find out what the story is with her. I dig all the characters I've met so far, and really like how Inaba feels surprisingly organic and intimate as a setting for the game.

The soundtrack is also absolutely fantastic, and I'm impatiently awaiting the next lesson on Personas, Shadows, and Jungian Psychology to unlock. ;)

Yep. I haven't been this much into a portable game since FFTA. That was the first game that truly got me back into games after some time off.

Tanglebones wrote:
ahrezmendi wrote:
Yeah, so I read about the level restart feature, but it's apparently not on for me, 'cause when I die I get a full on game over. How do you turn on level restart?

I use direct commands on everyone, it's non-optional on Very Hard.

Don't play on Masochist mode/Very Hard? :P

Psssh, I'm not saying I need this feature, the game is *still* too easy. I just make sure to use Goho-M fairly frequently, and at worse I lose a floor or two. And I still have 10 Goho-M, 22 Life Stone, 5 Snuff Soul, 2 Medicine, and 2 Chewable Soul.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
ahrezmendi wrote:
Yeah, so I read about the level restart feature, but it's apparently not on for me, 'cause when I die I get a full on game over. How do you turn on level restart?

Holy crap. Maybe that's what happens when you play it on very hard. Sooooo glad that I'm playing it on hard. You could check the settings, but I'll bet it's one way they notch up the difficulty.

Yeah confirming that this is how it works for me too. Actually when I initially heard about the level-restarting feature, I was like, "Pshaw, that ruins the game!" So I'm glad to be without it.

Semi-glad.

I'm kind of glad right now, but when I die I do get pissed off.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Level 20 character plot spoilers:

Spoiler:
I'm at the bathhouse boss now. It's still only the first week where you can enter the bathhouse, so I'm feeling pretty good about my progress. I really want to knock him out so that I can concentrate on social links. I do pretty well taking out the two side guys with fire and ice. Does the center guy actually have a weakness? I'm assuming he doesn't, and I don't want to waste my current battle discovering it if there is one. I don't mind that small spoiler if someone would like to enlighten me. I figure I can power through to get him, but I'm not sure. I started without full SP bars.


Spoiler:

He doesn't have any weakness, as I recall. In addition, I tried to soften him against Ice with Ice Break but it did not make him weak against Ice (does it normally work that way?). He absorbs Lightning attacks and takes normal damage from everything else. He was very much a "power through him" boss for me; I think the fight took me something like an hour, actually.

The good news is that none of his attacks are very powerful (even on Very Hard!). Take out his helpers and grind him down. The thing you have to watch out for is his Lightning attack that hits all party, knocking down Yosuke and granting a second attack. I recommend pumping Agility for Yosuke (and the MC) to reduce the Lightning hits the boss scores on him.

ahrezmendi wrote:
This morning on BART I ran into a group of 5 ravens, weak to lightning. I've taken out about a dozen of these groups before, so I figure no problem. Zap 3 of them, then my Zio misses the 4th. That one casts Matarukaja, the 5th raven attacks and crits Yu for 186, then one that was down wakes up, attacks again, and Yu is dead. Game over.

I knew I should have used that Goho-M sooner.

You really want Mazio to reduce the randomness in this kind of situation. Mazio would've had to miss something like four times to create this kind of problem. If you don't have Mazio, you should have an alternative mitigation strategy for staying alive, e.g. in this case running away (my MC always acts first, so if things start going out of control like this Yosuke can cast Trafuri or someone can use Vanishing Stone), or Physical Mirror on MC.

If staying alive depends on your attack not missing five times in a row, you're in trouble.

EDIT: just noticed that escaping was not possible in your game; sorry.

Are the exact details of how much different hard is from very hard available somewhere? I'm interested in the numbers. I'm kind of curious how much different they are without actually trying very hard (for now).

Edit: Thanks, grobstein. You confirmed what I figured was the case.

Spoiler:
I actually played him last night just to get a feel for the difficulty and get the weaknesses. I was at the end of my run and knew I probably wouldn't even remotely have enough SP to get him. Even going in like that, I actually got the 2 side guys and him down to half or so. This morning I prepped for battle and got a little bit into it before work. It shouldn't be a huge problem if I'm careful. I'd rather not have to try a 3rd time. I'll probably have Yukiko be a dedicated healer just to be safe once I get the 2 side fellas down.

grobstein wrote:
ahrezmendi wrote:
This morning on BART I ran into a group of 5 ravens, weak to lightning. I've taken out about a dozen of these groups before, so I figure no problem. Zap 3 of them, then my Zio misses the 4th. That one casts Matarukaja, the 5th raven attacks and crits Yu for 186, then one that was down wakes up, attacks again, and Yu is dead. Game over.

I knew I should have used that Goho-M sooner.

You really want Mazio to reduce the randomness in this kind of situation. Mazio would've had to miss something like four times to create this kind of problem. If you don't have Mazio, you should have an alternative mitigation strategy for staying alive, e.g. in this case running away (my MC always acts first, so if things start going out of control like this Yosuke can cast Trafuri or someone can use Vanishing Stone), or Physical Mirror on MC.

If staying alive depends on your attack not missing five times in a row, you're in trouble.

EDIT: just noticed that escaping was not possible in your game; sorry.

Yeah, I know all this, I just like to see how far I can get before something becomes an absolute necessity. To put things into perspective, this is the first death I've had since starting the Bathhouse, so it's the exception and not the rule. I suppose I could spare the 10k or so to buy a Mazio from Marie, but I'm a cheap bastard.

Mazio would help a bit with SP too, that might be a good investment of yen actually.

Yeah I went in last night just planning to feel out the fight, as you describe, with depleted SP, but I managed to power through. Used a few 50SP items and one-off stat boosters, and, as I said, it took a really long time.

Spoiler:

Healing at the Fox is so damned expensive! I suspect there is a Very Hard premium in the mix. When you increase the S.Link, it says you will get a discount on healing, but I haven't been able to try that yet. Basically every time I have wanted to heal at the Fox the price has been at least 60%-150% of all my money.

grobstein wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Level 20 character plot spoilers:

Spoiler:
I'm at the bathhouse boss now. It's still only the first week where you can enter the bathhouse, so I'm feeling pretty good about my progress. I really want to knock him out so that I can concentrate on social links. I do pretty well taking out the two side guys with fire and ice. Does the center guy actually have a weakness? I'm assuming he doesn't, and I don't want to waste my current battle discovering it if there is one. I don't mind that small spoiler if someone would like to enlighten me. I figure I can power through to get him, but I'm not sure. I started without full SP bars.


Spoiler:

He doesn't have any weakness, as I recall. In addition, I tried to soften him against Ice with Ice Break but it did not make him weak against Ice (does it normally work that way?). He absorbs Lightning attacks and takes normal damage from everything else. He was very much a "power through him" boss for me; I think the fight took me something like an hour, actually.

The good news is that none of his attacks are very powerful (even on Very Hard!). Take out his helpers and grind him down. The thing you have to watch out for is his Lightning attack that hits all party, knocking down Yosuke and granting a second attack. I recommend pumping Agility for Yosuke (and the MC) to reduce the Lightning hits the boss scores on him.

Spoiler:
Re: Ice Break - it doesn't add a weakness; it reduces 'strong' resistance to 'normal' IIRC

ahrezmendi wrote:

Yeah, I know all this, I just like to see how far I can get before something becomes an absolute necessity. To put things into perspective, this is the first death I've had since starting the Bathhouse, so it's the exception and not the rule. I suppose I could spare the 10k or so to buy a Mazio from Marie, but I'm a cheap bastard.

Mazio would help a bit with SP too, that might be a good investment of yen actually.

So you give skill cards to Marie, like, by default? I've been doing that too but the prices are so high that I think I might hold on to them by default, and only give to Marie if 1) I'm pretty sure I'll need multiple copies, and 2) I don't need one right now.

grobstein wrote:
Yeah I went in last night just planning to feel out the fight, as you describe, with depleted SP, but I managed to power through. Used a few 50SP items and one-off stat boosters, and, as I said, it took a really long time.

Spoiler:

Healing at the Fox is so damned expensive! I suspect there is a Very Hard premium in the mix. When you increase the S.Link, it says you will get a discount on healing, but I haven't been able to try that yet. Basically every time I have wanted to heal at the Fox the price has been at least 60%-150% of all my money.

Spoiler:
It's pretty expensive on hard, too. I was wondering if it would give you all your SP or not. It cost 22,000 yen or so, so I couldn't even test it.

grobstein wrote:
Spoiler:

Healing at the Fox is so damned expensive! I suspect there is a Very Hard premium in the mix. When you increase the S.Link, it says you will get a discount on healing, but I haven't been able to try that yet. Basically every time I have wanted to heal at the Fox the price has been at least 60%-150% of all my money.

Yeah, no kidding. A friend told me it was the same way in P4 on PS2, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's also more expensive due to Very Hard.

I have been giving them to Marie by default, but so far I haven't gotten anything I didn't already have or would have used. When I run across a Mazio I'll just use it, but so far I've only gotten Mabufu and Maragi, both of which I already have, multiple times over in fact.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Spoiler:
It's pretty expensive on hard, too. I was wondering if it would give you all your SP or not. It cost 22,000 yen or so, so I couldn't even test it.

I haven't tried it either, but it has to give you all your SP! It has to dammit! (In seriousness, the cost seems to be something like [A*(HP depleted) + B*(SP depleted)], with B much larger than A. It would just be super-weird for them to charge you based on how much SP you need to heal, and then not heal the SP.)